2005-11-10 / Letters

Still unhappy with Everday Math

Conejo Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) trustees Tim Stephens, Pat Phelps, Dolores Didio and Dorothy Beaubien stated in an Oct. 27 letter  to the Thousand Oaks Acorn, “The board researches and questions decisions that will impact our children.”

Keeping that quote in mind, the trustees must explain their vote to approve Everyday Math. EM is a constructivist curriculum publicly denounced by over 220 mathematicians and scientists and twice rejected by the state board of education for seriously lacking content required to meet California’s math standards.

The vote to adopt this controversial math curriculum by the four trustees clearly indicates an approval of mediocre math instruction for our children. They say, “It was impossible to give an accurate count” of the comment cards at a public meeting. Let’s hope our children’s counting skills do not turn out as deficient as the ones demonstrated by the four trustees.

They claim “Our district’s test scores are among the highest in the state.”However, district API scores when ranked by similar schools clearly indicate a majority of CVUSD schools do not perform at a level the four trustees would like you to believe. Private learning centers and parents’ tutoring efforts deserve far more credit for district scores than Stephens, Phelps, Didio and Beaubien will ever admit.    It is gratifying to know that the four trustees have “always been aware that (their) job is to see that all students graduate with the skills necessary to function in our adult society.” Unfortunately, a large portion of district students will not realize careers in engineering, medicine or the hard sciences, unless they receive supplemental math instruction through private means.

As for accusations that Mr. Dunn chooses not to attend any school function or meeting, I would remind the four trustees that Mike Dunn was the only elected board member thoughtful enough to attend a CVUSD meeting last spring for parents interested in homeschooling.

Mr. Dunn has visited nearly every campus since taking office last December; can the other trustees meet this standard? Jo Anne Cobasko Thousand Oaks

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